On Wednesday, tensions on the Korean Peninsula rose as North Korea fired 23 short-range ballistic missiles, with at least one landing close to South Korea’s sea border. South Korean officials were forced to sound rare air raid sirens, sending some citizens into underground shelters. Western allies retaliated by launching three air-to-ground missiles into the seas just off the coast of North Korea.
Olafimihan Oshin; November 2, 2022
Tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday after North Korea fired at least 23 ballistic missiles, leading South Korea to respond by launching its own missile barrage.
In a statement, South Korea’s military confirmed that its northern neighbor launched at least 23 missiles throughout the day, firing 17 in the morning and six in the afternoon off of its eastern and western coasts, according to The Associated Press.
South Korea’s military noted that the weapons fired by North Korea were all short-range ballistic missiles or suspected surface-to-air missiles, adding that North Korea also fired at least 100 artillery shells into the Northern Limit Line (NLL), an eastern maritime buffer zone South Korea created four years ago to reduce tensions between the two countries.
The missile launches resulted in South Korea issuing rare air raid warnings, sending residents fleeing to underground shelters. South Korea’s transport ministry closed some air routes above its eastern waters due to the missiles, the AP reported.
South Korean airplanes fired three air-to-ground missiles into the seas north across the NLL borderline in response to North Korea’s launches, Reuters reported.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol vowed a “swift and firm response” to North Korea, referring to the aggressive moves as “territorial encroachment.”
“President Yoon Suk-yeol noted North Korea’s provocation today was an effective act of territorial encroachment by a missile intruding the NLL for the first time since [the two Koreas’] division,” Yoon’s office said in a statement.
This is the first time in nearly 80 years that a ballistic missile from North Korea landed near South Korea’s waters since the peninsula was divided.
North Korea recently threatened the use of its nuclear arsenal on the U.S. and South Korea in protest of the two allies conducting military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal.
In response, the Biden administration has said that it has no ill intent on provoking North Korea, noting plans of working with allies to curb North Korea’s nuclear weapons, the AP noted.
Photo: Ahn Young-Joon/AP Photo